(The title, in case it sounds familiar, is stolen from an old song by Talking Heads. — r.a.)
I was planning to write today about the ballpark draft in the fantasy league I’m in, Legends of Baseball. But, as the philosopher Lennon said, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
Legends of Baseball is a fantasy league where you can put together a team of players from throughout baseball history, from 1871 to the present. It’s what is called a “head-to-head” league, which means that instead of just having your players collect stats, you actually create a team and compete against other people’s created teams. That, in turn, means you’re working through a full 162-game, six-month schedule, and you have to set up pitching rotations and batting orders, define bullpen and bench roles and even decide your manager’s tendencies – when to bunt or not bunt, how often your players will steal bases, when you bring in relief pitchers, all that jazz. All of it is run through a baseball-game simulation software package called Diamond Mind, probably the most accurate baseball sim around. It’s not easy, but it’s a ton of fun.
All of that simulated game-playing is affected by the simulated ballpark you’re playing in, just as real games are affected by the real stadiums. A hit that would be a home run in Boston’s Fenway Park could end up just another fly out at the Oakland Coliseum, for instance, due to the positions of the fences, the temperature, the humidity, or even the altitude if you’re playing in Denver or Atlanta. There are all kinds of what are called “park factors” for every stadium that’s ever existed. The upshot is the owners in Legends of Baseball have to choose their home parks carefully. Beside that, the ballpark draft is the first event of the upcoming season, sort of like a Fantasy Baseball New Year celebration. And this year, it was scheduled for January 20 …
… and nothing happened.
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